WHEREAS a succession of court rulings handed down over the last six months, and the reasoning therein, conflict with freedom of speech and of the press WHEREAS in one of these rulings, the Supreme Court of Uruguay, in addition to upholding without qualification the legality, validity and constitutionality of the so-called "right of reply," endorsed a severe restriction on the rights of the media and made a veiled suggestion to exercise a form of prior restraint by warning that journalists "must give careful consideration before publishing a news item or story, as they expose themselves to the possibility that the right of reply may be exercised by those named individuals who feel they have been wronged” WHEREAS a judge in the department of San José ordered two journalists to pay damages for publishing an interview with a person reporting acts of violence, and in the conclusions of the ruling warned the reporters that they should have verified the accuracy of the accusations before airing them and that the press is not the “appropriate forum” for such accusations to be voiced WHEREAS a judge in the department of Cerro Largo and, subsequently, a Court of Appeals for Montevideo handed down a ten-month suspended sentence against a journalist in Río Branco for publishing news and opinions concerning a local government official WHEREAS a judge in the department of Salto sentenced two journalists and a newspaper to pay damages to four officials for having printed an official local police document of great public interest because it incriminated them in the preparation and commission of various felonies; the judge, in her reasoning, held that the police document was marked as “confidential” and that journalists cannot “take it upon themselves to probe into matters that are removed from public scrutiny" WHEREAS a judge in Montevideo ordered a television channel to broadcast a response under "right of reply" by a public official who was accused of corruption on a program shown by that station and the official was sentenced to prison following the media report, charged with "simple bribery" WHEREAS Principle 10 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states, “No news medium nor journalist may be punished for publishing the truth or criticizing or denouncing the government” THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to express its concern over these court rulings, which leave a question mark hanging over the effective exercise of freedom of the press and information in Uruguay, and can potentially give rise to an environment of self-censorship among journalists and the media in the country.